From the Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network:
Sen. Maria Cantwell: 202-224-3441 or 206-220-6400
Rep. Jay Inslee: 202-225-6311 or 206-361-0233
Rep. Rick Larsen: 202-225-2605 or 425-252-3188
Rep. Brian Baird: 202-225-3536 or 360-695-6292
Rep. Adam Smith: 202-225-8901 or 253-593-6600
More information from the Organic Farmers Action Network:
Stop Genetically Engineered Alfalfa
Call your Members of Congress Today
Despite overwhelming public opposition, USDA is considering lifting the ban on genetically engineered alfalfa. Approval of GE alfalfa is likely to lead to genetic contamination of organic and non-GE alfalfa, causing economic harm to organic farmers and further reducing all farmers’ seed options.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) are circulating a Congressional ‘Dear Colleague’ letter in the House and Senate, asking USDA to maintain the ban on genetically engineered alfalfa. Contact your Members of Congress TODAY and urge them to sign onto this letter.
In 2005, environmental groups successfully sued the USDA over its deregulation of genetically engineered alfalfa, arguing that USDA did not consider the environmental impacts of this crop. The courts banned GE alfalfa and ordered USDA to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, for the crop.
USDA released its draft EIS for GE alfalfa in late 2009. Their EIS admits that, if GE alfalfa is approved:
- GE Contamination of non-GE and organic alfalfa crops will occur.
- GE contamination will cause negative economic impacts for organic and non-GE alfalfa farmers.
- Foreign export markets will be at risk due to rejection of GE contaminated products.
- Farmers will be forced to use more toxic herbicides to remove old stands of alfalfa.
Unfortunately, USDA has decided that these impacts are insignificant and intends to de-regulate GE alfalfa anyway.
- GE contamination of non-GE and organic crops would be inevitable.
- You won’t buy products that are GE-contaminated.
- Alfalfa is a major food source for livestock. GE alfalfa would destroy the integrity of organic dairy.
- You support rights of farmers to grow crops of their choice — GE contamination makes that impossible.
- GE crops increase pesticide use, harming human health and the environment.